June 13, 2014 7:42pm
Rogers will begin requiring customers to upgrade to one of its Share Everything plans with a hardware upgrade beginning on June 17th. Until now, users have been able to hold on to their existing plans when upgrading their smartphones as long as their voice and data combination, without add-ons and tax, totalled $60.
According to a bulletin, “There is an exception policy if your monthly spend is $80 / month (plan + features)…[but] reps are being strongly encouraged to migrate clients onto the new plans.
There is also an exception policy if your monthly spend is between $60 – $79 / month (plan + features). This exception requires store manager approval and an expectation will be set with the client that this is the last upgrade at your current price point.”
In other words, Rogers is attempting to get as many customers off their old three-year plan prices as possible, as the Share Everything plans are simpler and a lot easier for customers to understand. And while they do include unlimited calls and texts, they tend to be more expensive — some, significantly so — as a result.
The most inexpensive Share Everything product is $80, and includes unlimited Canadian calling, messaging, voicemail and 500MB of data. Increasing that monthly spend to $90 includes the same features and 2GB of data.
Of course, since customers are encouraged to share the data they pay for across multiple users, there’s an expectation here that overall costs will decline the more people are on an account. For single user accounts, though, this change will almost certainly lead to higher monthly bills.
This, and Rogers’ recent move to increase grandfathered prices for out-of-contract plans, is clearly meant to not-so-gently nudge the company’s postpaid wireless base to its higher ARPU Share Everything plans. During its last quarter, Rogers reported flat wireless revenue and decreased postpaid ARPU due to “price plan and roaming changes.”
When reached for comment, a Rogers rep noted, “Our previous policy made exceptions for some customers, allowing them to stay on their old plans when they upgraded to a new subsidized device. Going forward we’re asking customers who want a subsidy on their premium Smartphone to move to a current plan. Customers who want to bring their own devices can remain on their old plan. This change will allow people to take advantage of the great value our current plans deliver. They’re easy to understand and are designed for how customers use their phones today, including LTE devices. They include services like unlimited Canada-wide long distance and texting, voicemail and call display- features that customers on older plans pay extra for.”
TELUS and Bell reportedly implemented a similar change in December and January, respectively.